A. Public Authorities
Through the General Secretariat of the Government (SGG) it has a central role of collecting, coordinating and organizing the process of collecting open data at the level of Romania. SGG, through the Open Government Direction and the Relationship with the Civil Society, has assumed the fulfillment of two commitments: uniformization of the practices regarding the processes of public consultation and extension of the standards regarding the access to the information of public interest at the level of the local public authorities, according to the National Action Plan 2018 - 2020 of the Partnership for Open Government. SGG is the liaison point for the Open Government Partnership partners and ensures the coordination and monitoring of the Open Government Partnership, even having ongoing projects to increase the quality and the number of open data sets published by public institutions. SGG through the Open Government and Civil Society Relationship is also the administrator of the open data portal data.gov.ro.
Also under the government are, at the time of writing this report, 16 ministries and a suite of agencies that act as data collection points in their fields. Often, however, agencies and even ministries become a terminus point for the collected data, failing to send the data that can be opened to the public for collection and centralization. Also, the data is not collected "downstream" according to a standardized structure, although theoretically there are open data standards at the government level. This means that often the collected data needs to be reprocessed, which results in the loss of data sets (which remain uncorrected) at the ministry or agency level. A relevant example is the National Trade Register Office (ONRC), which is subordinated to the Ministry of Justice. ONRC offers open data updated every 3 months, but only part of the fields are open, the rest being available for a fee.
Recently established by extending the powers of the Agency for the Digital Agenda of Romania with some of the former Ministry of Communications, The Authority for the Digitalization of Romania has a wide range of responsibilities from developing and ensuring interoperability between public authorities and institutions, endorsing high-value technological infrastructure projects to attributions in the cyber security of the public sector. ADR is still under organization at the time of writing of this report.
The National Institute of Statistics (INS) is the main specialized body for data collection of central public administration, with legal personality, subordinated to the government, financed from the state budget. Theoretically, all the official statistics activities in Romania are carried out through the INS, which is a collecting point for many data, especially since it has among its attributions the centralization and approval of the statistical research methodologies organized by the ministries. However, most of the data is not available to the general public.
The Treasury and the National Bank function as centralizing institutions for data flows regarding financial operations. Regardless of the nature of these data, they reach one of the two institutions.
The Superior Council of Magistracy (SCM) is the institution that functions as the terminus and depository of a large part of the data from the Justice System, centralized in the category Reports and Statistical Data of the SCM website as well as in the annual reports.
The National Agency for Fiscal Administration (ANAF) is the institution that functions as the final point and depository for the data collection of incomes, sanctions and fines, as well as statistics related to the field. These data are available on the ANAF website as well as in the annual reports.
Local and county administrations store many very valuable national data sets, data that are often not publicly available in an easily accessible format, are available only upon request or are not recognized as valid data sets by administrations. There is a strategy to open local data at central level and there are administrations that want to open their data at the local level, but often the data remains at the level of town halls, councils or prefectures.
B. International Actors
Eurostat is often an indirect source of statistical data on Romania, data that the NIS is obliged to report at European level but not at national level. The data collected by Eurostat is available through the European Union Open Data Portal (ODP), one of the most comprehensive data portals in the world. ODP offers 14369 open data sets, from the results of projects funded through Horizon 2020 to statistical data on longitudinal vocational skills at EU level, and is open at any time to suggestions of new data sets from the public.
Open Government Partnership (OGP) was founded in 2011 by leaders in the public administration of several states and members of civil society. OGP has become one of the largest partnerships for transparency in the world. The role of the OGP is to engage governments in promoting transparency, combating corruption and using new technologies to strengthen the governance act and dialogue with citizens. 79 member states and an increasing number of local administrations (three of us from the country - Iași, Cluj and Timișoara) joined the OGP. Romania joined the OGP in 2011 and we are already in the fourth cycle of OGP implementation in our country. SGG is the OGP coordinator in Romania, with the Center for Public Innovation coordinating the Coalition for Open Data, a coalition of organizations that support OGP.
Open Contracting Partnership is a non-profit organization that was initially a program within the World Bank. Currently, the organization is present in over 30 states and its main objective is to digitize and open public contracts.
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization whose purpose is to prevent and combat corruption at the international level, through research, documentation, information, education and awareness raising activities. Transparency International is an organization founded in 1993 in Berlin with branches worldwide. Transparency International publishes annually a Barometer and a series of reports on corruption. In Romania Transparency International operates as an independent subsidiary, Transparency International Romania. Transparency International follows closely and participates in the legislative process with proposals in the field of corruption but also has a proven interest in the opening of data, as a prevention of corruption.
C. Other Actors in the NGO Sector
The Center for Public Innovation is one of the NGOs with the greatest interest on the subject of open data and open governance in Romania. One of the main partners of the Partnership for Open Government and one of the NGOs that initiated discussions on electoral reform. The Center for Public Innovation was one of the administrators of the Open Data Coalition project, one of the first concentrated efforts to open data in Romania.
Expert Forum (EFOR) is a think tank in Bucharest set up by well-known experts in public policy and administration reform. EFOR has developed projects such as SCOPE (State Owned Enterprises - Preventing Corruption And State Capture), Clientelism Map (a complex mapping of patronage relationships) or State Capture Estimation and Monitoring of Anti-Corruption Policies at the Sectoral Level (SCEMAPS), focused projects on analyzing public data and publishing analyzes in formats accessible to the general public.
Founded in 2014, the Civica Association is a local NGO in Iași that advocates for transparency and good governance in the municipality. One of the priority directions for Civica is the transparency of the administration and of the local council meetings as well as the opening of the administration data. A good example is the area of local decisions implemented on the website of the Iași City Hall by Civica.
Smart City Association is a local initiative from Timisoara that has as strategic objective the opening of access to public information and the interconnectivity of the systems and data of the public administration. Through the programs developed in partnership with the local administration, Timișoara became the first city to start publishing open data series on the national portal data.gov.ro and which issued a local council decision in this direction.
Funky Citizens is an organization active in the field of public participation and legislative and institutional transparency. Funky Citizens has made the first steps to open and transparent public data through a series of projects such as the Honorable Court (Onorată Instanță) or BaniPublici.ro.
Median Research Center (MRC) is an independent think-tank organization, which aims to develop analyzes on problems in the Romanian society. The organization has developed projects such as Open Politics, Transparent Parliament or TestVot.
Companies, employers' associations and unions in different fields are creators and holders of important data sets that cannot be centralized anywhere even if they were made public. Some of them appear in the reports of the Foreign Investors Council (FIC) or of the Coalition for the Development of Romania, but they are not publicly available anywhere. Similarly, there are statistically significant databases held by the trade union organizations in the country but they are not open to the public.
All the universities in Romania have programs that analyze data, create, collect and process databases in the research carried out and often contribute to studies and reports on various fields. In Timisoara and Cluj-Napoca, the Western University and the Polytechnic University of Timișoara, respectively the Faculty of Political, Administrative and Communication Sciences collaborate with the public administration to support them in collecting and cleaning the public interest data sets, in order to increase the degree of transparency by opening them to the community in a simple to use format.
Both research institutes and companies in the field create, collect, analyze and disseminate closed circuit data sets. Many of the information in these datasets can be open to the general public, by adhering to a clear set of standards and ensuring the anonymity of published information.